Manan Ahmed | Polis Project | May 16, 2021

Since the lockdown was lifted, I have been walking incessantly, daily, as a ritual. I don’t ‘go’ anywhere. The routes were exhausted in the first month or so. Just over and over the same concrete pathways around my abode. I have felt walking ‘in place’ because the din of worry envelops me through every step. Still, as I have walked, I have often tried to listen to voices of defiance against military dictators, patriarchs, caste oppressors, occupiers of Kashmir, destroyers of Gaza, destroyers of Kabul; against those who under the guise of legislation tried to make Muslims foreign to India, and those who are attempting to take land and soil away from farmers. These songs do share a sonic vocabulary of protest that emerged in Bronx and Brooklyn and Queens went global. Rap has always provided a register for those who seek liberation, who protest, and who bring fear into the hearts of the oppressors.

Originally published by The Polis Project. Read and listen to the playlist here.